Dijkgraaf gets to evaluate the code of conduct for scientific integrity after incidents

Dijkgraaf gets evaluation of the code of conduct for scientific integrity after incidents – ScienceGuide

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May 25, 2022 † Minister Dijkgraaf announces that Dutch universities will evaluate the rules regarding additional positions for professors. The Code of Conduct for Scientific Integrity will also be reviewed and, if necessary, measures will also be taken in response to a series of incidents involving scientific integrity.

He has not existed so long since 2018, the new code of conduct for scientific integrity. Following a series of incidents involving the appointment of professors, the Minister of NWO, KNAW and UNL, NFU and the Professional College Association are already requesting that the Code of Conduct be evaluated by an independent committee. For example, it must be clarified whether the standards for additional positions, contract funding of research and any conflicts of interest are clear enough.

Professors should adapt their scientific publications

This was announced by Minister Dijkgraaf in response to parliamentary questions from the CDA and GroenLinks about a researcher in tax law at UvA, who had scientific publications influenced by the Zuidas offices, where they have an additional position. Almost all professors of tax law at UvA have jobs in a law firm or tax consulting, shows a report from Folia. Some of these professors are being asked by their employers in Amsterdam Zuidas to make adjustments to their scientific publications.

For Lisa Westerveld (GL) and Harry van der Molen of the CDA, it was reason to ask parliamentary questions. This was before Nieuwsuur published several reports showing that professors elsewhere also hold additional positions without informing the university.

Is the code being complied with?

The minister said that UvA is also conducting an independent investigation into the issue of tax law and possible self-censorship. The Minister is therefore not sitting still and wondering whether the Dutch Code of Conduct for Scientific Integrity, which was drawn up in 2018, is still working properly. “It is important to get a picture of the effectiveness and compliance with standards and duties of care in the context of independence and transparency from the Dutch Code of Conduct for Research Integrity (NGWI, successor to the Dutch Code of Conduct for Academic Practice) and the extent of its violations.”

Therefore, the Minister will enter into discussions with the authors of this code (UNL, NWO, KNAW, NFU and the Professional College Association) to assess the standards in this code of conduct. “Against this background, it can be assessed whether this Regulation and the Code of Conduct are sufficiently effective in practice, whether the registration of ancillary services is working properly and / or whether further action is needed.”

The Minister wants to first wait for the investigations of both UvA and the evaluation of the code of conduct before taking action.

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